Somehow in the course of human events, I have fallen in love with Biblical Hebrew. I began seminary with the intention of pursuing a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology, but throughout my time at Southern Seminary, I realized that I deeply love the richness of Hebrew. Therefore, I pursued my Ph.D. in Old Testament languages. Since graduation (May 2015), I have had the privilege of teaching Hebrew at Boyce College and Southern Seminary. I have also recently begun working with Dr. Rob Plummer (Southern Baptist Theological Seminar) and Dr. Mark Futato (Reformed Theological Seminary) on Daily Dose of Hebrew. These 2-minute videos walk through a verse of the Hebrew Bible with the overall goal of keeping pastors and seminary graduates in their Hebrew Bibles. My highest aim with Hebrew is to help students, pastors, and, by extension, the church, to love Jesus more because they know and understand the Old Testament better.
I’m not sure when I developed a love for ancient history, but ancient civilizations have always intrigued me. I enjoy learning about ancient cultures, especially those that are most closely associated with the Near East and the biblical storyline. I currently teach Ancient Near Eastern History at Boyce College and enjoy the preparation for those classes. This research interest also includes archaeology, but again, archaeology that is most helpful for understanding the biblical narrative.
Along with Hebrew, I have studied both Biblical and Targumic Aramaic. Like Hebrew, Aramaic has a certain richness to it that I enjoy deeply. My dissertation topic was to research the Aramaic Memra, Shekinah, and Yeqara to argue that the New Testament authors understood Jesus in light of the Targumic presentation of the “Word” (Memra), “Dwelling Presence of God” (Shekinah), and “Radiant Glory of God” (Yeqara). In that research, I found many more places beside these words, where I believe the New Testament authors were at least hinting at the Aramaic Targums that would have been recited in the ancient synagogue. I hope to continue digging into the Targums and discovering places where they can provide a historical/grammatical bridge between the Old and New Testaments.
One of my favorite books of all time is Jonathan Edwards’ Religious Affections. I first read this book in college and it changed a good portion of my outlook on and approach to the Christian life. In seminary, I took a class on the theology of Jonathan Edwards and was able to dive into more of his writings and supplement my love for Religious Affections. I currently work with two other good friends on a podcast concerning the affections. The podcast is called Oaks of Righteousness and we discuss living out deeply rooted affections in what may seem to be the “mundanes” of life.